This is one of my tougher seasons of life. Unable to pinpoint its beginning, I am more interested in its end.
In my not-so-patient endurance, I thought of the dot-to-dot activity pages I enjoyed as a child. These pictures are without definition, other than scattered dots and corresponding numbers. The goal is to connect the dots with color or pencil in sequential numerical order. The originating artist has created a completed picture from which the unconnected dotted sheet is made. The one with the blank page must fill in those spaces one link at a time to see what has been hidden from view.
Maybe this season of my life is one of those dot-to-dots. The Artist of my life sees the completed picture, while I see only a series of line segments taking me up and down, back and forth, with no discernable pattern. In fact, I feel I’m covering the same territory repeatedly, with different names and faces involved. So I question the path God has me on, not a problem in itself. When I stubbornly plant my feet with hands on my hips to demand an explanation before going on, I’ve moved into problem territory.
To stay with this dot-to-dot illustration, I’ll say I arrived at #17, quite near my starting point. With no idea how much longer this journey will be, but feeling hopeless, I decide I have had enough. When I arrive at #18, rather than looking for the next marker, I just keep going on no path at all. Ah, the freedom of independence! Really? Look at the second picture.
I’d rather go independently into the senseless unknown than follow Daddy’s path – unknown to me, but known fully to Him? That’s independence?! Once I’ve taken those steps, I know I will never make it back on my own. Prone to wander, Lord, I fear it 1 rings so true.
Without the Lord’s patient and continual outpouring of mercy and grace, I will not see the intricate beauty of Christ to be revealed in this season’s picture. But, if I trust Him completely, not only will He restore me to the path, but will bring me to the finish. Each season’s picture will be as beautiful as He already sees it – when complete.
I want to trust Him. Really. And I want the pain involved in the making of this picture to end now. It can’t be both. Either I focus on the pain of each step or I trust Christ completely. Thank God for His grace in Christ Jesus!
My heart’s true desire is not to lean on my own understanding. Rather, it is to trust the trustworthy One, regardless of pain or discomfort in the process. Only in this do I find true rest as I am reminded:
You know exactly where I am and what I am going through. 2
You will never leave me or forsake me. 3
Your love for me will never fail. 4
You are working all things together for my good. 5
You know my every thought and still love me. 6
You are leading and guiding me in the way everlasting. 7
Jesus Christ – the One You gave for me 8 – is more than enough for me 9, my refuge and fortress 10, my shield and defender 11, my Life and my light, my salvation 12. You, Jesus Christ, are ever-victorious 13! And You live in me and I live in You – forever 14!
With that, I find myself again on the path, unsure of what I face, but completely certain of Christ Jesus.
1 from hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
2 Psalm 139:1-18
3 Hebrews 13:5
4 1 Corinthians 13:8
5 Romans 8:28
6 Psalm 139:1-18
7 Psalm 139:24
8 John 3:16
9 Ephesians 3:20
10 Psalm 91:2
11 Psalm 18:2, Isaiah 51:22
12 Psalm 27:1
13 1 Corinthians 15:54-57
14 Colossians 1:27